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Old April 4th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #1
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In car / on car HD camera

I need some advise, regarding small cameras to mount on cars, both outside and inside.
We are going to buy 5-7 cameras.
The cars are high performances racing cars, and most of the time the will be drifting ( alot/ some shaking) that's the conditions.

Price range: 400 - 600 dollers
No tape, HDD og Flash cards
HD 720 P minimum 1080 would be nice
A large angel of view from stock

any one got some suggestions ?
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Old April 4th, 2009, 08:12 PM   #2
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I put cameras in race cars weekly during the summer and you might have some issues with the CMOS sensors in the current crop of HD camcorders small enough to mount inside a race car because of the infamous rolling shutter effect. Depending upon the amount of vibration, it might be bad enough to render the footage unusable. If you Google "rolling shutter effect", you can find out more than you ever wanted to know about it. I think the camera makers are working to fix this but I don't know how many have as yet.

That's the reason I've stayed SD for in car using some cheap Cannon tape cameras. It looks really quite good and better than an old Sony TRV-19. The car vibration makes something in my Panny GS-400's OIS go nuts even though it's switched off, so that's no good.

You say that you don't want tape, HDD or memory cards. What's left? I'd also stay away from HDD. Tape will work but vibrations can break up the recording to tape. Memory cards should work best in theory, but I haven't tried one yet.

As for supports, the Manfrotto 155 Double Ball Joint Head/Superclamp are the ticket. Dead cheap and rock solid. As I've said before hereabouts, I had the Sony mounted on one of these clamped to the tubing inside the car when it hit the outside wall hard enough to nearly rip the rear clip off the car and the camera only moved a few millimeters. Made for a pretty spectacular shot.

You can see some of the Sony footage mixed into One Great Mini Stock Heat on Vimeo. That might give you some idea.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 01:31 AM   #3
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Thank you for the advice.
Well I think I will go for the Sanyo cameras,( HD1010) they are small light, cheep, and use flash memory,(I am don working with taps....) I saw a few clips on vimeo, with that camera ( in car) and the where okay for me.

That clamp looks nice, I will get a few of them :-)
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Old April 10th, 2009, 11:16 AM   #4
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Been doing in-car videos for a while. Find that Canon's (HV20/30) do not do well with vibration. My old Panasonic GS250 does fine. Tried a Aiptek and it was no good. Have a Sanyo HD1000 and it is great. Just got the Sanyo TH1 and will be doing some tests in the next few days. Did some filming at a track recently and one of the cameras being used was a Sony CX12 and it did very well.

Here is some video of the Sanyo HD1000 and Sony CX12 GT-R vs GT-R. The Sanyo is the main camera, Sony PIP in the Black vs Red clips. Sony main, Sanyo PIP in Yellow vs Red.

Also have a VIO-POV bullet cam that does great, but is not HD. Makes for good PIP footage.

One good thing about the Sanyo TH1 is that is has over 3hrs of battery life and a 16GB card does almost 4hrs at 1280x720 30fps (no 30P though). I think a great dual cam setup would be the Sanyo HD1010 (or new HD2000) for a main camera (can use an external mic if needed) and then the TH1 for a different view.
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Old April 12th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Here is a quick test with the Sanyo TH1.

Sanyo TH1 test

First two clips have a .5x wide angle converter on, and the last one is without. The camera is mounted on a study suction cup mount in a 350Z.
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Old April 13th, 2009, 08:42 PM   #6
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Can download 2 of the mp4 from my Vimeo channel.
Sanyo TH1 outside car test on Vimeo
Sanyo TH1 in car test 1 on Vimeo
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Old April 13th, 2009, 09:44 PM   #7
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Wicked footage. Now you just need to do some shooting up on Mrs. Orcutt's driveway. (grin) Price point is awesome. I was thinking it could solve some issues for me until I saw that it's only good to 11 lux since I shoot my in car stuff at night with pretty lame track lighting.

However, for daylight shooting it's a good piece of kit.
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Old April 14th, 2009, 01:34 PM   #8
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Hey Duane, thanks for the videos! It is defiantly going to be Sanoy's that is awesome looking!
Looking forward to upload some in/out car footage.

Race and air on Vimeo a few clips from last week, man a lot of new stuff to learn
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Old April 18th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #9
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Quick clip of a side view with the TH1 Speed and Motion/DSLR Mount Test/Z06. Not the highest quality, but for web based video I think it is fine.

On a side not tried something different with my D90. Put it on a mount and used the remote shutter release to safely take pictures while I drive Speed and Motion/DSLR Mount Test. Will be putting the Sanyo HD1000 and TH1 to a test on Sunday as I drive to the Long Beach Grand Prix with a group of exotic cars.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 04:13 PM   #10
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The Panasonic HDC-SD9 is a 3CCD cam and it's small enough for use on in car or on car operations. It would practically fit perfectly for your what you just listed.
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I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
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Old August 27th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #11
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Sanyo's warranty stinks!

I can no longer recommend Sanyo camcorders.

I have two TH1s and a HD1000. Have always liked the cameras and they worked well.

Well one of the TH1s broke while it was recording. After calling the service center to get it fixed I found out that it has 1 year parts warranty, but the warranty for the labor to fix it is only 90 days. Well it broke within the 90 days, but because I called to get it fixed after 90 days they will not cover the labor costs. I even told the customer service manager that I can prove that it broke withing 90 days. He told me that if I had emailed them it would be ok, even if I called after 90 days. Well, I have it on video! He said does not matter. What is up with having two different time frames for warranty coverage

I will NEVER buy another Sanyo camera!!!
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Old September 13th, 2009, 08:59 AM   #12
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If you want to see what looks like Rolling Shutter on in car cameras take a look at Formula 1 coverage on Speed TV. The in car camera coverage in HD is wobbling in a way it didn't used to. Not unwatchable but noticeable.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 03:52 PM   #13
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The vibration levels in an F1 car are extremely high. The carbon fiber tub transfers engine vibration without any dampening. There is so much high frequency vibration that in the early days of fitting cameras to them within a few laps the lens assemblies used to fall apart, and components would drop off circuit boards. Every part has to be encapsulated, bonded and thread locked or for items like focus rings, the lubricants replaced with special "sticky" grease.

The secret to not getting Jello-cam with CMOS cameras is the mounting. You have to ensure that the camera is absolutely rigidly mounted as it is movement of the camera relative to the fixed structure of the vehicle that makes the picture appear to wobble.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #14
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The HD Helmet Camera - ContourHD by VholdR will be my next purchase for a camera for car footage. They were used for the on car clips in this video Spyker DVD Trailer: Final on Vimeo
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